How Do Indiana Schools Teach about 9/11?

Monday, September 12, 2011

President George W. Bush was at Emma E. Booker Elementary School when it happened.

The students, in crisp white and navy uniforms, gathered around him at the front of the classroom, showing off their newfound reading skills. "Cat." "Sat." "Mat."

Bush was smiling, thanking them for being such "good readers."

Moments later, an aide, stone-faced and rigid, whispered something in his ear. Something about the World Trade Center being attacked.

Hundreds of miles away, Heather Holaday was in a classroom as well, at Southside High School. A social studies teacher, she was in the middle of a history lesson when another teacher, trying to appear as calm as possible, came into her room and told her to "turn on the TV."

She did, just moments before the second plane hit.

For everyone in the classroom, the events of that day no doubt had a big impact on them then.

But what about now, 10 years later?

Holaday covers it every year, still sharing her clear memories of that day. Still, while students are old enough to remember, asking for their memories as well.

But, because of the state's academic standards and standardized testing, finding time to do that can present a problem.

"There is very little time to spend on any one topic, let alone Sept. 11," she said. So she works it in when she can, spending a little more time on the anniversary.

The same is true for Southside social studies teacher Julie Snider.

"I touch on it in different ways throughout the year," she said, sitting in front of the huge American flag in her classroom.

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